Monday, January 9, 2017


Posted by Tim

- Archbishop Michael Byrnes, THE GUAMANIAN, January-February, 2017

Those who are members of the Neocatechumenal Way who have not consciously embraced teachings contrary to Catholicism can still be considered Catholics. However, in offering the above quote, Archbishop Byrnes essentially makes the same mistake other bishops have made in thinking that because the NCW has an approved statute, that what actually is taught inside the NCW is "Catholic." 

Consider this. In a November 1, 2016 interview given to KUAM, Byrnes admitted to not knowing much about the Neocatechumenal Way and only having "some familiarity, not close." In fact, he even referred to it at one point as a "movement," a "mistake" for which he was immediately chastised by The Diana. Yet Archbishop Byrnes apparently knows enough about the NCW to proclaim it (albeit by extension) "Catholic." 

Compare this bishop to another. 

Not only does Archbishop Athanasius Schneider have a close familiarity with the NCW, he was its episcopal delegate for several years, and as such did his homework on their actual teachings. And Schneider calls the NCW a "Protestant-Jewish community inside the Church with a Catholic decoration only":

This is a very complex and sad phenomenon. To speak openly: It is a Trojan horse in the Church. I know them very well because I was an episcopal delegate for them for several years in Kazakhstan in Karaganda. And I assisted their Masses and meetings and I read the writings of Kiko, their founder, so I know them well. When I speak openly without diplomacy, I have to state: The Neocathecumenate is a Protestant-Jewish[12]community inside the Church with a Catholic decoration only. The most dangerous aspect is regarding the Eucharist, because the Eucharist is the heart of the Church. When the heart is in a bad way, the whole body is in a bad way. For the Neocatechumenate, the Eucharist is primarily a fraternal banquet. This is a Protestant, a typically Lutheran attitude.[13]They reject the idea and the teaching of the Eucharist as a true sacrifice. They even hold that the traditional teaching of, and belief in, the Eucharist as a sacrifice is not Christian but pagan.[14]This is completely absurd, this is typically Lutheran, Protestant. During their liturgies of the Eucharist they treat the Most Holy Sacrament in such a banal manner, that it sometimes becomes horrible.[15]They sit while receiving Holy Communion, and then they lose the fragments because they do not take care of them, and after Communion they dance instead of praying and adoring Jesus in silence. This is really worldly and pagan, naturalistic. 

Bishop Schneider then goes on to point out the NCW's central heresy:

The main idea of the Neocathecumenate according their founder Kiko Argüello is the following: the Church had an ideal life only until Constantine in the 4th century, only this was effectively the real Church. And with Constantine the Church started to degenerate: doctrinal degeneration, liturgical and moral degeneration.[16]And the Church reached the rock bottom of this degeneration of doctrine and liturgy with the decrees of the Council of Trent. However, contrary to his opinion, the opposite is true: this was one of the highlights of the history of the Church because of the clarity of doctrine and discipline. According to Kiko, the dark age of the Church lasted from the 4th century until the Second Vatican Council. It was only with Vatican Council II that light came into the Church. This is heresy because this is to say that the Holy Spirit abandoned the Church. And this is really sectarian and very much in line with Martin Luther, who said that until him the Church had been in darkness and it was only through him that there was light in the Church. The position of Kiko is fundamentally the same only that Kiko postulates the dark time of the Church from Constantine to Vatican II. So they misinterpret the Second Vatican Council. They say that they are apostles of Vatican II. Thus they justify all their heretical practices and teachings with Vatican II. This is a grave abuse. 

So, we have two bishops. One, who admits to knowing next to nothing about the NCW who proclaims it "Catholic." And another, with intimate knowledge and experience with it and proclaims its central foundation to be a "heresy." 

I do not believe that Byrnes has arrived with any malice, ill-intent, or, like Hon initially did, with a prescribed agenda to put down the natives. I believe he simply does not know, and that he was selected specifically FOR THAT REASON. 

Prior to his selection, Byrnes was essentially a small-town bishop in a fairly well-to-do part of the Diocese of Detroit. Next thing he knows he's sitting in a marbled Vatican office across from the prefect of a major Vatican congregation, who - unbeknownst (?) to Byrnes, is the NCW's most powerful ally, and who is probably personally shielding Apuron (as well as Luis Camacho, John Wadeson, and now Cristobal.)

One matter that Byrnes can address immediately to allay some of our apprehension is to show some good faith in the matter of the NCW's liturgy. In THE GUAMANIAN article, Byrnes says "I will celebrate the Mass the way the Mass is celebrated." Okay. That's nice to know. We actually have a bishop who will not interrupt the Mass with testimonies from Neocats. But the question is: will Byrnes also demand that the Neocats "celebrate the Mass the way the Mass is celebrated?"

The Neocats and Apuron have publicly proclaimed their right to divorce reception of the Sacred Species from consumption, only consuming the host after all have received and returned to the seated position. In addition, the priest himself delays his communion until the Sacred Species has been distributed. 

There is no allowance for this deviation in the NCW's approved statute, and since the communion rite has been at the center of the debate about the NCW since Cardinal Arinze's December 1, 2005 letter to Kiko (followed by Kiko's public refusal to obey), we have been asking Apuron to provide a clarification on the practice.

A counter on the right side bar shows that, as of today, it has been 2 years and 25 days since Apuron told us that he would provide the document permitting the practice. 

The ball is now in Byrnes' court. He can either provide the document or disallow the practice. Of course there is the third option: simply disobey and continue the scandal. We shall soon see. 

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